By quincy0191

The first weekend of Cycle 1 of HoN Tour Season 3 is complete, and boy do things seem different. We saw seven heroes that never showed up in Carnage in Caldavar (though not all were eligible). The Last of US forfeited out of their Loser’s Bracket Round 1 match, dropping them to Gold, while SynC and BMG are playing each other in the Winner’s Bracket Final. Okay, I guess, some things are the same.

After a great first weekend, let’s look at three things that are already different just 21 games into Diamond Division play.

1. New Heroes Abound!

Not only have we seen 59 different heroes already, but seven heroes that were never seen in 150 games of Carnage popped up in the first weekend alone. Here’s how they did:

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The so-called “newbies” (as Monkey King and Blitz don’t really fit that description) were 5-7 overall, so perhaps teams still need a bit of time to work out how to play these heroes, and even if they’re worth playing at all. MK should be the least likely to fall by the wayside with m`ICKe showing how powerful he can be. As part of a three-core lineup alongside KheZu’s Swiftblade and Flensmeister’s Doctor Repulsor, Monkey helped SynC take a crazy Game 1 in the Winner’s Bracket Semifinals against Reason Gaming.

The much-ballyhooed Silhouette and Cthuluphant also showed up occasionally, with Cthulu playing a variety of roles. We saw him jungle, suicide, and initiate, and no doubt the hero has potential. Neither BMG nor SynC picked him up but he managed a respectable 2-2 record in the hands of Dawn, tUS, and KNX, and a 300 GPM suicide is nothing to scoff at. Ogr carry CountCrapula was the only person to get his hands on Silhouette, and after several early deaths in mid recovered to hit 429 GPM. Shrek is Love couldn’t pull the series out, but Silhouette showed excellent recovery potential and is clearly a dangerous carry.

TMM star Ra showed his jungle presence with 484 GPM, Blitz was a surprise pick from BMG with the series tied 1-1 against willowkeeper, Riptide showed potential in mid, as did Oogie. Dawn carry sertas grabbed Oogie first against SynC, but went just 1/5/2 with 287 GPM in a 24 minute loss. Facing elimination in the Loser’s Bracket against Shrek is Love, though, he KURUKURU’d his way to victory with a whopping 18/5/8, 596 GPM performance to keep Dawn in the series and eventually out of the Gold Division. As long as Dawn sticks around, we’ll likely be seeing Oogie, and with numbers like that it won’t just be them.

2. Here Comes SynC

If you watched BMG take on willowkeeper – and you should have – then you probably weren’t too impressed with the performance from Handsken’s crew. Not only did they lose Game 2 in just over 15 minutes, they were very close to losing Game 3 as well. Admittedly 6th man Krebsen was replacing star suicide player Jonassomfan, but BMG overall did not look as good as we’re used to. And the numbers say their rivals played much, much better.

As a team, SynC averaged a 21.5/9.0/38.5 line. That’s the second-most kills per game, the fewest deaths per game, and the third-most assists per game. BMG trailed in every category. Meanwhile, SynC averaged 1924 GPM as a team compared to BMG in second place at 1715 – that’s over 200 GPM between them, or 40 GPM per player. Reason Gaming took third at 1685, just behind BMG.

Unsurprisingly, SynC also took the lead in creep kills per minute as a team with just under 24, and in XPM at 2338. Meanwhile BMG were all the way down in 7th place in CK/minute with just over 17 and finished third in XPM at 2021. Part of this is due to their extremely short 23 minute average game length, allowing for less time to rack up creeps, gold, and experience. On the other hand, SynC were neck-and-neck with Dawn for third place in average length at 31.5 minutes. They were generally wrapping things up quickly and efficiently.

Sure, BMG are still in the Winner’s Bracket Finals. But SynC rode a nice 4-0 record, while BMG struggled a bit at 4-1. Simply put, SynC have outperformed their main opposition so far, and in the lower half of the bracket they should be going up against tougher teams. With the two heavyweights squaring off for the first time in HoN Tour Season 3, perhaps things will turn out differently this time.

3. There’s a New #1 Farmer

In my Team Previews I highlighted willowkeeper carry player baltazar` and his strong performance as a ricer. So far in HTS3 he’s upped the ante, leading the field in GPM and XPM. He’s a tenth of a CK per minute behind Reason’s carry and captain ImbaBoy for the lead there too, third in kills per game, fifth in K:D, and 12th in K+A:D.

Obviously for a player to put up numbers like that, he’s got to farm amazingly well and do it consistently. baltazar` is the only player to cross 600 GPM twice so far, and his worst performance was a 394 GPM Valkyrie game. Every other team had a carry with a lower GPM. He’s the only player to cross 300 CK three times, and the worst he did there was a 117 CK Puppet Master (in 16:37, thank you very much).

With eight games played, he’s had more opportunities than anyone else, but that also means more chances to screw up. Time and again, the guy has racked up the GPM. One does have to consider the sacrifices his team makes, as tree are 4th overall in GPM per game at 1479, so it’s not like baltazar` is just adding to the overall pool of gold for willowkeeper. Other players are sacrificing their GPM for his, and at 34.5% he is the only player who accounts for over a third of his team’s gold. For better or worse, tree’s fortunes often rest in the play of their carry.